My whole life I’ve had to answer the question: “Do you smile all the time?” and the answer is yes. I am generally a happy person.
When people find out I spent years homeless and the abuse that got me there, they then ask me “how are you so happy?”
Being happy, bubbly and positive is just who I am, genuinely.
But here’s a secret: I’m not always happy.
There is a dark side I’m working on inside. It started when my mom would catch me smiling and say “wipe that smile off your face.” I did as I was told but the smile always came back without me trying.
I went from suppressing my smile to suppressing my sadness.
I learned how to make happiness my mask. If I had on my happy mask, I could avoid questions and unpleasant situations. People would think I’m OK.
When I was homeless, if you looked at me, I was happy. I smiled for customers as a cashier at Macy’s. I hung out with friends who didn’t know what I was going through. It made it easier to exude happiness and suppress sadness.
But now that I’m older, all the pain and sadness I suppressed then, I have to deal with now.
Right now I’ve been focused on healing from my past traumas.
Let me tell you, healing is ugly.
Yea it’s nice to burn some sage, shove some crystals in my bra and feel good about the day ahead. But some days none of that ish works and going to bed early works better.
Now as I’m healing from my past, all the pain and sadness I suppressed back then, bubbles up and hits me in waves.
Some days I’m happy because I’m so sad. I know it sounds weird, but it feels good to finally be able to be sad. I don’t have to suppress the pain anymore.
And I’m not sad about my life now, I’m sad about my life then. How I was treated, things I’ve done. I’m sad for my inner child who had to experience it.
That’s the ugly healing, but it’s necessary and rewarding to who I am becoming.
Now that I’m older, the mask is off and it stays off. Every time I write on here I feel naked, transparent and vulnerable.
But this is me.
My sadness is deep, but I am a happy person. You can’t tell I’m sad just by looking at me or even following my social media, but hopefully this helps you understand that happy people aren’t always happy. We get sad too.